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Faux Pho


The popular Vietnamese noodle soup is traditionally made with beef, and that’s why my pho is faux. I usually make it with seitan, but when I got a craving for it the other day, I didn’t have any on hand, so I used tofu instead. I can’t seem to keep a supply of rice noodles in the house (I need to start buying it by the case), and I wasn’t about to drive an hour through the mountains in this weather just to get some, so I used cooked linguine (leftover from the day before) to make faux pho and it turned out great — just slightly more faux than usual!

Faux Pho
This version of pho, the yummy Vietnamese noodle soup, is a sure-fire cure for a cold winter day. Serve with additional hoisin sauce, Asian chili sauce, and soy sauce at the table so everyone can adjust their soup to suit their own taste. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook.

1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces seitan (or extra-firm tofu), cut into strips
5 cups vegetable stock
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, or more to taste
8 ounces cooked linguine
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the seitan strips and brown on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion, ginger, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Remove 1/2 cup of the hot liquid to a small bowl. Add the miso paste to the liquid in the bowl and stir to blend well. Transfer the blended miso paste into the soup along with the chili sauce. Do not boil. Stir in the cooked noodles, lime juice, and the reserved seitan.
5. Divide the soup among individual bowls. Top with bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro, as desired. Serve at once.

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